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Letting go of negativity sounds easy enough. In fact, most people will just say “let it go” as if those magic words suddenly pull you out of the quick sand. But it doesn’t. Negativity latches on to you and drains you like a leech to suck you dry of joy or it can feel so heavy that you begin to feel stuck in a place unable to really elevate. No matter the source of the negativity, as Toni Morrison said, if you want to fly, you have to give up the s— that weighs you down.

You must first recognize that you are bringing negative energy with you wherever you go like a funk you can’t wash off. You know when it’s moved from just a bad day or week to a full blown attitude change for the worse. Acknowledging that you need to change is the first step.

Why do you need to change? Surrounding yourself in negativity blocks the positive things that are heading your way. You won’t appreciate the new job, new relationship, or even existing joy in your life because you are drowning in all the things that are seemingly going wrong.  Don’t you deserve to experience the joy in life? Yes! Then get started.

Now, that you’ve decided you need to change, you’ve got to get to the root of your problem. Is it people? Circumstances? Or just your perspective? Don’t be afraid to go beyond the surface. For example, you may have a negative attitude lately because you got passed over for a promotion. Getting passed over may be more than just anger at that missed opportunity. More than likely it also brings up some feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, or fear too. Those are the emotions you need to deal with and process. Address the REAL feelings you have beyond what happened. This is how you start clearing space and washing off the negativity.

Survey your life and start changing the things you can and accepting the things you can’t. Be a good gatekeeper on your life and start removing yourself from people that pull out the worst in you. Understand that some circumstances last for a long time and some can be changed, but how you view those circumstances makes all the difference. Being in a bad place is no reason to produce bad energy. You can still be the light.

Next, start replacing those negative thoughts, behaviors and situations with positive choices. Although that sounds simple, it can be very difficult to decide every day that you will choose to not let people, circumstances or your own natural inclination throw you into negativity but it is necessary. Take back control and start with baby steps. Affirmations throughout the day, speaking life and joy over yourself, and filling your mind with the good things (i.e. avoiding negative spaces online or off) are a great start. Doing the things that make you happy and taking care of yourself will start to seep down inside your heart.

You decide every day how you are going to respond to people, stress, and circumstances that would normally trigger a negative response from you. Seek joy out and pursue it with your whole heart. You deserve to live a life that feels uplifting to you and to the people around you, not one that’s weighted down with negativity.

If you’ve found the root of your issue, addressed the issues, focused on positivity and the negativity persists it may be time to take a bigger step. If you find it too difficult to release those negative emotions and bring the joy back into your life on your own, getting professional help is always an option. Sometimes our negativity is a sign of a deeper concern like depression that may require some therapy. Although you may think that you’ll shake it off one day and feel better, sometimes that feeling doesn’t go away and it starts to suffocate us. There’s no need to suffer in silence or pretend to be okay. Find counseling in your religious community or the psychological community to help give you the extra push to put this heavy weight down.

Negativity robs you of your best life. Take the time today and the next day until it sticks to rid yourself of the bad vibes, thoughts and behaviors. Give up the things that weigh you down and start enjoying life the way it was meant to be lived – full of light, positivity, joy and peace.

Dee Rene is the author and creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss @deerene_  @laughcrycuss



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